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New Zealand’s Restaurant Association has published the first stage of a roadmap to support the industry following the pandemic.

According to chief executive Marisa Bidois, there have been around 1,000 hospitality businesses that have closed in New Zealand since the start of the crisis in March 2020, with around 13,000 job losses.

The Restaurant Association predicts the losses to be "significantly higher" in the coming months following the most recent lockdown restrictions.

Stage one of the "Future of Hospitality Roadmap" concentrates on reopening and outlines the immediate measures required to support the sector’s complete reopening over the short-term, adhering to wider Covid developments.

As part of a submission to Finance Minister Grant Robertson at the end of last week, the Restaurant Association filed eight practical solutions to help businesses.

These include the industry urging the government to continue the wage subsidy in level 2, an ongoing "lockout subsidy", a one-off "reopening payment", and incentives and vouchers to encourage people to support local businesses.

The so-called lockout subsidy would provide businesses that are unable to make a payment equating to 50% of their average weekly sales during a level 1 week, reports the New Zealand Herald.

The second and third stages will focus on recovery and sustainability and set out a framework for a profitable and sustainable hospitality business model, Bidois stated.

"While a flat rate payment could see businesses disproportionately subsidised, officials reviewing the applications would have the discretion to decline applications where the evidence of attempted food donation does not reflect the support payment applied for," she added.

The Restaurant Association chief executive went on to say there would also be a campaign to "Dine out to Help Out" as well as a "Dine and Discover NZ" campaign.

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